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    UN Secretary-General-designate Antonio Guterres speaks during the ceremony for the appointment of the Secretary-General during the 70th session of the General Assembly October 13, 2016 at the United Nations in New York

    UN Chief Looks Forward to Working Closely with Lebanon's New Govt – Spokesman

    © AFP 2019 / Jewel SAMAD
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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres looks forward to working closely with the new government in Lebanon to address urgent needs in the country, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Friday.

    “The Secretary-General looks forward to working closely with the new Government to continue to address urgent political, security, humanitarian and economic challenges, including in the follow-up to the international conferences of support to Lebanon held last year”, Dujarric said.

    Guterres congratulated Hariri and the new political leadership in Beirut, reaffirming the UN commitment to contribute to the stability of Lebanon and the region under the Taif Accord, Baabda Declaration, and all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the spokesman added.

    READ MORE: Mass Anti-Government Rallies Rock Lebanon After Death of Palestinian Toddler

    Lebanon had been mired in a political crisis that left the country without a government since May, when the last Cabinet resigned following parliamentary elections, as required by the country's constitution.

    Lebanon presented the new Cabinet on Thursday. Prime Minister Saad Hariri will lead the government consisting of 30 members.

    Long delays in the formation of cabinets are common in Lebanon due to the country's political system, which allocates power on the basis of sectarian affiliation.

    READ MORE: About 20,000 Syrians Returned From Lebanon Since Beginning of 2018 — Russian MoD

    Earlier on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed the successful formation of the new Lebanese Cabinet, stressing that Moscow hopes to continue maintaining an active political dialogue with Beirut for the sake of peace and stability in the Middle East.

    Lebanon has been undergoing a political crisis due to the absence of a government in the country. In addition, Lebanon, with its population of 4 million, has been hosting nearly 950,000 officially registered Syrian refugees, according to UN figures. Various other sources reportedly have suggested that, in reality, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon could be as high as 1.5 million.

    READ MORE: Lebanon Urges Global Community to Stop Airstrikes on Gaza

    The Lebanese authorities have repeatedly said that the influx of refugees had significantly damaged the country's economy and security, calling on the global community to help encourage their return to Syria. Moscow is also involved in facilitating the return of Syrian refugees from Lebanon.


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